NEW DELHI: In a clear message to the US, India on Friday categorically stated that the US Special Forces neither had any base in the country, nor they were presently stationed here.
India’s response has come in the wake of a top Pentagon commander and US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard stating that the Special Forces teams were deployed to help India with their counter-terrorism efforts. Willard said the two countries were working together against Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Laskar-e-Toiba, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Denying the claims of the US Commander, Ministry of Defence in a statement said, “The Ministry of Defence has come across a press report relating to remarks attributed to a US Armed Forces official on the positioning of US Special Forces teams in various South Asian countries, including India. The report is factually incorrect in so far as the reference to India is concerned.”
Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said, “US Special Forces Teams have never been stationed in India in the past, nor are such teams stationed in the country at present.”
According to sources, the US 25th infantry division was in India to conduct a joint military exercise with the Indian Army. Admiral Willard had said besides Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, the troops were stationed in India as well.